Cranberry Christmas Cookies

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Cranberry Christmas Cookies are filled with an abundance of fresh tart cranberries balanced by a buttery sweet cookie.

This is not a classically crisp or chewy cookie. I created this cookie specifically to mimic everyone’s favorite Cranberry Christmas Cake.

Cranberry Christmas Cookies

I’ve been making these cookies regularly since last Christmas and I am so very excited to finally be sharing the recipe with you!

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With or without the glaze, eaten warm from the oven or three days later, these cookies are everything I love about the much-loved Cranberry Cake wrapped into a perfectly sweet, slightly tart cookie.

Cranberry Cookies

It’s a handheld, slightly chewy, little bit crispy, cake-like cookie. These cookies are exactly what I crave when I don’t want to be left with an entire cake on hand.

I like to mix up a batch of these cookies, portion it into cookie dough balls and then flash freeze them.

Once frozen, store in an airtight container or zipclose freezer bag. Place the frozen cookie dough balls on a baking tray and bake as directed below, adding an additional 4 minutes for the frozen dough.

Lemon Glazed Cranberry Cookies

There is an optional glaze included with this recipe. I’ve made these cookies repeatedly both with and without the glaze. I honestly can not decide which way I like them best!

The glaze is lightly tart with fresh lemon juice, but still serves to sweeten the cookies a bit. I recommend making the cookies a couple of times and seeing what your favorite cookie turns out to be!

Cranberry Cookies are soft, chewy, sweetly tart bites of Christmas happiness.

Please note that there is no baking soda or baking powder needed in this recipe. The extended beating time for the eggs provides the necessary leavening for the cake.

You must beat the eggs until the batter forms a “ribbon” off of the beaters. Do not shorten or skip the beating process. (This is a crucial step for this recipe!)

Beat the eggs and sugar until the batter forms a ribbon off the beater.

You will use fresh, raw cranberries for this recipe. They will soften and burst as the cookies bake. There is a good bit of sugar in this recipe and it balances the tartness of the cranberries.

I buy multiple bags of cranberries whenever they’re available in the grocery stores and toss them directly into my freezer.

Sure, you can make them with dried cranberries, but you that will NOT result in the same amazing cookie. It will be tasty, but not remotely the same.

Fresh Cranberry Cookies

How To Use Frozen Cranberries

My preference for this recipe is actually frozen cranberries, though it will work with cranberries straight from the refrigerator as well.

I use frozen cranberries almost every time I make these cookies. The dough will “freeze” up a bit when adding the frozen cranberries.

This is a good thing though, as the cold dough is easier to work with than the softer dough.

Sweetly tart fresh Cranberry Cookies

Cranberry Dessert Recipes

If you enjoy desserts made with fresh cranberries as much as we do, you’ll want to check out all of these Cranberry Desserts!

Nantucket Christmas Cranberry Pie is filled to bursting with fresh cranberries and pecans. Served warm, topped with cold melting ice cream, it’s a guaranteed win.

Winter Spice Cranberry Cake is an absolutely perfect cake that takes very little effort to make. There’s no icing, no topping, nothing else is required. This is one of the easiest cakes you will ever make!

Lemon Glazed Cranberry Christmas Cookies

That Winter Spice Cranberry Cake is inspired by our much beloved Cranberry Christmas Cake. That cake has become one of the most popular recipes on this website, definitely a reader favorite.

Rich chocolate brownies generously filled with tart cranberries and crunchy pecans add up to the Cranberry Pecan Brownies that make everyone who tries them grin.

Cranberry Cookies are a holiday favorite!

This tart Cranberry Ice Cream caught my eye last year and I have it on my need-to-try list now. I love making fun holiday ice creams. (You know ice cream isn’t just for summer, right? Try this Peppermint Ice Cream or this Caramel Crunch Pumpkin Ice Cream for proof of that.)

Last but not least, this Cranberry Apple Tart is filled with fresh cranberries and apple slices that are mixed with brown sugar and spices. Made with a store-bought crust or your favorite homemade pie crust recipe, this is a simple tart that delivers a terrific result.

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Cranberry Cookies are soft, chewy, sweetly tart bites of Christmas happiness.

Cranberry Cookies

4.81 from 77 votes
Tart fresh cranberries and sweet buttery cake cookies are perfectly combined in this handheld Christmas cookie!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 32 4″ cookies


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries (cranberries that have been frozen work best, but cold from the fridge work as well)

Optional Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until slightly thickened and light in color, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should almost double in size. The eggs work as your leavening agent in this recipe, so do not skip this step. This mixture should form a ribbon when you lift the beaters out of the bowl.
  • Add the soft butter and vanilla; mix two more minutes. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add the cranberries and stir to mix throughout.
  • Use a 2 tablespoon scoop or a spoon to portion out the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place only six cookies on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and turned golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  • To glaze the cookies, stir together the powdered sugar and lemon juice. It should drizzle off the spoon in a thick white stream. Lightly drizzle the cookies and allow them to fully set before storing.


Calories: 133kcal · Carbohydrates: 21g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 5g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 27mg · Sodium: 44mg · Potassium: 26mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 13g · Vitamin A: 162IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 6mg · Iron: 1mg
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Cranberry Cookies made with fresh cranberries

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Lisa H. says

    Really yummy! I’m at high altitude so added 1/2 tsp baking powder and a little extra flour – probably should have added a little water bc the dough was pretty firm to work with. Came out perfectly though! Will definitely make again!5 stars

  2. Emmy says

    Tasty, but these were crazy-sweet, and I didn’t even make the glaze to go on top. I really have to agree with those who say they had to cut down on the sugar.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Sorry to hear that the cookies weren’t for you, Emmy. Everyone has different tastes; I’ve had people say these weren’t sweet enough, too. Hopefully your next baking recipe will turn out more to your liking.

  3. Cathy says

    Love them ! Came out so good . How do I store them with the icing ? They seem to be getting soft in the container it was very humid which might be the reason ! Will make again for Christmas in a few weeks !5 stars

  4. Mila says

    My family and I loved them very much. It’s gonna be my traditional recipe for Christmas. The only thing that I changed a little it’s amount of sugar being a diabetic. But it didn’t make them worse. Thank you so much for the recipe. ❤️Merry Christmas 🙏🎄👋Mila from Florida.5 stars

  5. Jackie H says

    Made these with white chocolate chips for a traditional cookie swap. They were a hit at home! Will save this recipe and make it again !5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Marilyn. Did you happen to substitute/omit any ingredients, or change the baking time/temp? They might also have flattened too much if you overgreased the baking sheet.

  6. Astrid says

    These cookies spread so much they turned into pancakes. I made sure to breat the eggs and sugar long enough, but did have to use yellow sugar. Good flavour but presentation not servible for my potluck and unfortunately a wasted effort.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Astrid. Unfortunately, substituting brown/yellow sugar is going to do that if the recipe calls for white sugar. Sorry that the cookies didn’t turn out well enough for your potluck.

  7. JoeBKS says

    Super delicious cookie. If you like cranberry you should make this very easy recipe. Some minor things that slowed me down and made me second guess myself. I don’t like super sweet stuff and so I cut the sugar to 1.25 cups. Since the butter was softened I also brought the eggs to room temp. The recipe is missing the mixer speed for the eggs and sugar, I used one notch above medium it seems to have worked I got a fair rise from the cookie. The recipe doesn’t indicate how to add the butter and flour. I cut the butter into 8 pieces and added one at a time until each was mixed in. I did the same with the flour adding a quarter cup and mixing it in before adding more. My oven only took 12-14 minutes to bake the cookies so check them early Again, great sweet tart cookie!5 stars

  8. Robyn says

    WooHOO! This one’s a keeper!!
    I love the Cranberry Christmas Cake so much that when my office set up a holiday bake-off and cookie exchange, this recipe was my first choice. Of course, I had to make a test batch first, right? I made one planned and one unplanned modification after reading some of the reviews.
    Sugar was reduced to 1.5 cups instead of 2 cups and gave the cookies a subtle sweetness so the lemon glaze really complimented the flavors of the cranberries. I also put the cookie dough in the fridge to keep it really cold and solid before putting spoonfuls on the baking sheet.
    So. The unplanned modification was a full cup of butter rather than 3/4 cup (oops). This caused the cookies to spread out a bit more and the edges really crisped up in the oven although the middle was more cake-like.
    Personally, I’m not a fan of citrus flavoring in my baked goods but the FRESH lemon juice in the powdered sugar for the glaze was really phenomenal! I will never use reconstituted lemon juice to make the glaze.
    I also tried different baking times with my temperamental gas oven and it turns out that 18 minutes (per the recipe) was spot on!
    The crispy edges softened up after sitting out overnight so a bit disappointing but that’s a small thing. I’ll probably also reduce the amount of dough per cookie so they are a bit smaller when baked. The 4″ cookies were good for me but for the cookie exchange, they’ll be more like a 2-bite size.
    Look out office party. Get ready to get your socks blown off!5 stars

  9. Sandra Phillips says

    Looking forward to trying this recipe–the color of the cranberries is perfect for Christmas! One question–once the dough is finished, do I put it in fridge or freezer before dropping onto cookie sheet? Also, do I grease the cookie sheet or just use parchment paper? I’m nervous about them being too flat and want to follow the recipe closely!! Thanks!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Sandra. You don’t have to freeze or refrigerate the dough before dropping it onto the sheet (although if you were going to freeze the dough to bake with later, that’s the stage of the recipe where I’d recommend doing it). The sheet just needs to be lined with parchment; no greasing required. I hope you love the cookies. Happy baking!

  10. Sandra Phillips says

    Thank you for your prompt reply to my first question, Mary! I have one more. About how many cookies does the recipe yield? Would I be able to get 2 dozen from the recipe? Thanks.5 stars

  11. Victoria says

    The best cookies ever!! I will make more dough and freeze that way I only have to cook a few at a time. I like them best with the glaze. Once they have been cooked. How long can you store in fridge or counter top??5 stars

  12. Audra O. says

    I’m a huge fan of the cake, and am really looking forward to making the cookies! Although, I’m needing to make quite a few and am in somewhat of a time crunch. Can I really only place 6 cookies on my cookie sheet at a time?

    • Mary Younkin says

      I recommend doing one tray with six cookies and then adjusting the numbers for the next batches according to how the cookies spread and bake depending on the size cookies you are making.

  13. Gail S says

    Planning on making these cookies. Has anyone added cinnamon or nutmeg to the cookies? Just curious if that would add flavor?

  14. Corrina Sperduti says

    Our cookies turned out amazing. Even though there is 2 cups of sugar, because it gets whipped the way it does. It doesn’t seem as sweet. Like some of the ladies said the cranberries really balanced out the cookie5 stars